Home View from Underground Photo of the Day: Closing a 24-hour system

Photo of the Day: Closing a 24-hour system

by Benjamin Kabak

The 7th Ave. subway stop along the BMT Brighton Line has been roped off. (Photo by Benjamin Kabak)

Around 30 minutes ago in between bursts of rain, I ventured out to the 7th Ave. subway stop along the B/Q at Flatbush Ave., and it’s shut. Since the MTA’s system wasn’t built with doors — why would you want to block stations that are never supposed to close? — the low-tech pink warning tape is all that’s stopping anyone from getting into the subway system. It’s quiet out there as people are gearing up to stay home for the storm.

The MTA this afternoon has posted a bunch of great photos from their storm prep. Earlier this morning, Jay Walder greeted Rockaway residents as they evacuated the area. Crews installed AquaDams to prevent flooding in the LIRR tubes into Penn Station, and Grand Central is a ghost town. The MTA doesn’t yet know when full service will be restored, but I’ll update the site as news develops. Stay safe.

After the jump, a look into Grand Central with no one in it. This isn’t a still from Vanilla Sky.

Train, anyone? (Photo courtesy of MTA, Marjorie Anders)

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Jorge August 27, 2011 - 3:45 pm

Thanks, Ben. I no longer have to venture…..half a block away to see if the 7th Ave B/Q is running. 🙂

Alex C August 27, 2011 - 4:03 pm

The subway system is gonna flood with homeless people and vandals this weekend. And in some cases water.

Bolwerk August 27, 2011 - 4:30 pm

Actually, there are usually if not always gates preventing entry.

Jerrold August 27, 2011 - 11:38 pm

There sure was NO gate at the #1 line station at the end of my block.

Scott E August 27, 2011 - 4:53 pm

Not to be nitpicky, but why is LIRR putting in these “Aquadams” to prevent water from flooding the tunnels to Penn Station? Isn’t that Amtrak territory?

Also, any idea where trains are being stored? I thought I heard many would go to the continental mainland – in the Bronx – but surely storing trains on elevated track wouldn’t be smart. What about LIRR trains (particularly those kept in the Babylon and Montauk yards). Are they relocated anywhere?

Mistral August 27, 2011 - 4:58 pm

The entirety of the D train line is underground. A few segments of the 2/4/5 lines are underground, as well. And of course everything from 138th Street to Hunts Point Av on the 6 train line is underground.

I suppose it’s not a whole lot of space, but it’s better than nothing.

Scott E August 27, 2011 - 5:23 pm

I would think, because of flooding in the tunnels (and potential damage to switches which would make it hard to remove trains), that they would be stored at-grade, if at all possible.

Donald August 27, 2011 - 6:18 pm

“The entirety of the D train line is underground.”

Umm, no it is not. It is entirely above ground between 9th Ave. and Coney Island.

Bolwerk August 27, 2011 - 6:25 pm

The C and E may be the only non-shuttles entirely below ground. The G comes close.

Farro August 27, 2011 - 8:22 pm

So does the R.

Bolwerk August 27, 2011 - 9:22 pm

Wait, is the R above ground anywhere? I was trying to remember if it was.

ajedrez August 29, 2011 - 12:20 am

For a very brief period in Bay Ridge, it goes over the LIRR tracks around 65th Street. It’s literally for a second or two, though.

The elevation only goes up slightly, but it does see sunlight.

Mistral August 27, 2011 - 8:40 pm

I was referring to the segment in the Bronx, as he was, y’know, referring to the Bronx.

Lawrence Velázquez August 27, 2011 - 7:57 pm

From the photos, I assumed that those were the tracks from the West Side Yard.

Bolwerk August 27, 2011 - 5:01 pm

Since this is the latest post on the hurricane, thought y’all would enjoy a little NYC hurricane history safety propaganda. My favorite is the fresh fish one.

Sorry they’re so small, but the pictures can still be somewhat interesting.

Anon August 27, 2011 - 5:40 pm

Re: AquaDams –

so any update on this?

Going Underground: Homeland Security Works on Tool to Prevent Tunnel Disasters


Anon August 27, 2011 - 5:41 pm Reply
Alex C August 27, 2011 - 5:49 pm

Check the Aug 27, 2011, 3:15 p.m update.
I wonder what the thinking behind that is. “Hmm, this subway station is clearly closed and the MTA said trains would stop running at noon. Let me sneak in and wait for a train.”

Anon August 27, 2011 - 6:52 pm

Perhaps they are crossing Queens Blvd. The only safe way to do it (Hurricane or not)?

ajedrez August 29, 2011 - 2:00 am

The comments didn’t download for me. What did the user say?

Bolwerk August 27, 2011 - 6:21 pm

More news: the evacuation and people not wanting to leave.

Officials noted an alarming lack of evacuees from public housing, from the Rockaways to the Lower East Side. The planned shutdown of elevators could leave people stranded on upper floors. But buses sent to take residents from the buildings sat idle on Saturday afternoon.

The police patrolled Zone A. Firefighters boarded school buses and helped take the elderly to safe ground. Access-a-Ride vans lined the streets by the Ocean Bay Houses in Far Rockaway, Queens.

Anon August 27, 2011 - 7:32 pm


“Based on current National Weather Service forecasts, Metro bus, rail and paratransit services are expected to continue operating on a regular weekend schedule. There are currently no planned service changes as a result of weather, and there are no reported delays or major detours as of 5:00 p.m. Saturday.”

Bolwerk August 27, 2011 - 7:41 pm

In all fairness, DC is significantly west of NYC, and further inland.

pea-jay August 27, 2011 - 9:49 pm

that all changes when it snows more than 4-6″

pete August 27, 2011 - 9:03 pm

Why is the MTA using red tape and not the yellow plastic chain closed signs that were everywhere during the transit strike? The MTA wants the red tape to rip and for people to accidentally go inside?


Anon August 27, 2011 - 9:23 pm

They used the London Underground as bomb shelter in WWII.
not to say it is necessarily a good or sanctioned idea but there may be situations where the subway will be safer than the alternative.


Anon August 27, 2011 - 9:26 pm Reply
Anon August 28, 2011 - 9:45 am

video is working for me today and is amazing.

Brewster North August 28, 2011 - 12:41 pm

I suspect they were worried about collateral damage if the chain was blown off in the wind. Tape is not so much of a consideration in that respect.

Anon August 27, 2011 - 9:33 pm

British Pathe vids don’t seem to be working very well… but you can get an idea from the image stills below the vids in particular “Tube Snacks”

I looked on youtube for copies of the video and can only offer this random video of Dogs parachuting during WWII(lol)

Jerrold August 27, 2011 - 11:35 pm

The caption of the top picture says it’s the Culver Line.
It’s the BRIGHTON Line, right?

Spendmore Wastemore August 28, 2011 - 12:29 pm

So do we know when it starts running again? Any photos of flooded MTA yards, lines etc?

nycpat August 28, 2011 - 12:39 pm

Theres a pic of Lenox Yard flooded on the Times site.

Brewster North August 28, 2011 - 12:43 pm

MTA’s own Flickr account, http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtaphotos/ has pictures of flooded NYCTA/MNRR tracks as well as (if you scroll back) pictures of what they were doing to prepare.

Spendmore Wastemore August 28, 2011 - 1:06 pm

Good photos. It doesn’t look bad at all, but I s’pose they will want to inspect things and check the signals before rolling again. I’m surprised the open air below grade lines such as N are not more flooded.

Benjamin Kabak August 28, 2011 - 12:53 pm

I have a new post up with the latest photos and word on service. Right now, there’s no timeline. It’s going to be a while.

Thoughts on a weekend without any travel at all :: Second Ave. Sagas August 31, 2011 - 1:35 am

[…] Monday afternoon. When I went to check on the trains on Saturday at around 2 p.m., stations were already boarded up, and the city has come to a […]


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